Richard E. Doran, a former Florida attorney general; Michael A. Adkinson Jr., sheriff of Walton County; and Vikrant P. Reddy, senior research fellow at the Charles Koch Institute, recently authored an op-ed together in the Orlando Sentinel to discuss the criminal justice reforms that Florida could adopt to help improve public safety and lower the state recidivism rate. The authors argue that lengthy prison sentences are not a viable solution to Florida’s criminal justice problems. As they write:
Recent research commissioned on behalf of the Legislature and governor reviewed data from Florida’s Department of Corrections and compared the data to other states’ to determine what makes an individual likely to reoffend and return to prison. The factors that reduce recidivism include: being older, having no or a limited prior record, having no prior drug history, and being housed at a lower-security facility.
Absent from this list: the length of imprisonment. Florida can learn from these findings and continue to drive down crime and incarceration rates at the same time.